· In Washington the Pontiff outlines common commitment ·
The Pope to speak to the US Congress for the first time
Pope Francis invited the United States of America to build “a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive”, to safeguard “the rights of individuals and communities”, and to reject “every form of unjust discrimination”, during his first public address on 23 September, at the White House. The environment, religious freedom and safeguarding the weak were at the centre at of his address on the South Lawn on Wednesday. He expressed his desire that “all men and women of good will in this great nation support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development, so that our brothers and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which God wills for all his children”.
Francis' next appointment was with Bishops at the Cathedral of St Matthew. During his address, the Pope assured the US episcopate of his closeness, asking them to confront the challenge of the times. The Pope's next stop was at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where he presided at the Canonization Mass for Junípero Serra.
On Thursday, Francis will be the first pope to address the US Congress. After his speech, the Holy Father will travel to New York.
St. Peter’s Square
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